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Thursday, January 26 2012

‘Library After Air Raid’: On the Survival of Culture Amid the Barbarity of War

War is a science, science is an art and art, as Library After Air Raid attests, is everything.


Tuesday, January 24 2012

‘How to Make It in America’? Well for Starters, Don’t Make Hopeful Television

The HBO dramedy How to Make It in America, despite being one of television's best programs, could not make it because it was too hopeful and joyful to survive a culture of cyncism.


Monday, January 16 2012

Misery Loves Comedy, But Has It Killed the Traditional Sitcom?

Comedian Lee Mack believes that realism is the enemy of comedy. But his own series, Not Going Out, proves that the Old-School sitcom is alive and kicking.


Tuesday, January 10 2012

What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Vampire

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part I is a gratifying escape from reality. Those who are familiar with the books will be pleased with Director Bill Condon's attention to detail.


Thursday, December 1 2011

‘Caligula’s Ghost: Why Cinema Needs Epic Failure More than Mediocre Success

Obscene, grandiose and artistically worthless -- such is the monstrous reputation of the 1979 art-porn blockbuster Caligula. Is this most shocking of Roman epics worthy of reappraisal?


Thursday, November 3 2011

The Quest to Understand Tribe

This is supposed to be a documentary, not a fan letter. So how about some balance? It's big picture time when it comes to telling the story of hip-hop.


Tuesday, November 1 2011

Before There Was ‘The Exorcist’, There Was ‘The Possession of Joel Delaney’

Once again, the film industry came in and took a perfectly creepy book and upped the sensationalism because nothing can ever be too shocking in Hollywood.


Thursday, October 20 2011

The World’s Favourite Parlour Game: The Quite Interesting Brilliance of ‘QI’

We rarely equate television game shows with admirable life philosophies, but the BBC's QI with host Stephen Fry pulls it off by making us think as well as laugh.


Thursday, October 13 2011

Clear! Old-School Medical Drama, Stat!

A once-popular medical drama reveals how much has changed in America's health care industry -- and its television medical dramas -- and how much remains the same.


Tuesday, October 11 2011

Mohawks and Korans: Taqwacores Punk Mash-up

The Taqwacore movement seizes space in the punk narrative and social fabric, which allows Muslim voices to take root and explore their own version of rebellion.


Tuesday, September 20 2011

Buster Keaton the Inventor and Charlie Chaplin the Conjurer

The films of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin share a fraternal vitality and invention.


Tuesday, September 13 2011

Tainted Pasts: Pornography in ‘Meet Monica Velour’ and ‘The Girl Next Door’

Meet Monica Velour and The Girl Next Door demonstrate that mainstream representations of pornography, even in a society in which sex proliferates, are still surprisingly one-sided and inconsistent with counter-narratives offered by industry insiders themselves.


Wednesday, August 31 2011

Life, Murder and Companionship: Dexter’s Quest for Friendship

Looking back over Dexter’s journey, the need for a trustworthy companion has never been greater. As the character has become more human, the desire for companionship and a normal life has overtaken the necessitation to kill. It has become—in fact always was—the driving force in his life.


Thursday, August 18 2011

Comedy, Technology and DVD Extras: In Defense of a Dying Format

Media formats come and go, subject to the gale-force winds of technology and the retail market. Me, I'm still clinging to my Monty Python collections on VHS.


Wednesday, August 3 2011

The Guys Who Bond in the Sky: ‘Toward the Unknown’

All this aircraft is blatantly fetishized, with Bond at one point giving his plane an impulsive and passionate smack of the lips.


Sunday, June 26 2011

What Harm Can ‘Ice Road Truckers’ Do to Tender Young Minds?

We went into Ice Road Truckers with the best intentions for our eight-year-old, I swear. It's the History channel, right? It's educational!


Wednesday, June 8 2011

Characters, Compounds, & the Study of Change in ‘Breaking Bad: Season 3’

Walter White didn't just wake up one morning and decide he'd spice up his life by cooking methamphetamine and muscling his way into a business with life-or-death stakes. It was a chain of events.


Wednesday, June 1 2011

Beware the Urge to Serve Two Masters, Especially One So ‘Primitive’ as the Blues

They say Bluesman Robert Johnson went to a crossroads one night and sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his guitar prowess -- but no one ever accused him of serving two masters.


Wednesday, May 25 2011

Share the Stage, ‘Glee’—TV Feels a Song Coming On

The history of TV musicals is richer -- and stranger -- than you think. At least three sitcoms were singing long before Glee came along: That's Life, The Monkees and The Partridge Family. Before them, well, if I could sing it to you...


Wednesday, May 11 2011

How Sherlock Holmes and Isaac Asimov Can Help Purge Your Social Media Addiction

Old books and even older movies can fend off the creeping anxiety of information overload.


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